Stereo Wetplate Camera, circa 1863
When they are not busy slinging barbs at Steampunk, NPR does occasionally have an article or two which is applicable to the genre. One of these is the surviving endeavor of wet-plate photography. The first widely used photography methodology, it was eventually superseded by new technologies of the time, such as the daguerreotype, and fell to the wayside as a bit of a curiosity.
However, NPR had an intriguing piece on a young lady who is travelling across the United States, and documenting her travels by using wet-plate photography. One interesting item of note was her observation that wet-plate, though it is literally over a hundred years old, provides more detail than current modern photographic equipment. Whether this is true or not, one has to see to judge, but to read more about Ms. Hasty's endeavor, please visit: http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2011/04/25/135690482/photographer-goes-off-grid-with-an-1896-camera, or her website, at: http://robynhasty.org/